Set in northern Australia before World War II, an English aristocrat who inherits a sprawling ranch reluctantly pacts with a stock-man in order to protect her new property from a takeover plot. As the pair drive 2,000 head of cattle over unforgiving landscape, they experience the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by Japanese forces firsthand.
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The first 15 minutes of this movie is very peculiar, silly even, but after that the story starts to take shape. Kidman plays Laura Ashley, a woman whose husband owns the only ranch in Australia that isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t owned by the Carney family. Soon after her arrival Mrs. Ashley meets her husbandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s drover, known simply as The Drover (Jackman). When her husband is murdered, she must make a decision to either sell at a remarkably low price or try to revive the down and out ranch that is the home to an aboriginal family. She decides to stay and enlists the help of the drover. After his mother dies, an aboriginal boy named Nullah grows close to Mrs. Boss, as she becomes known on the ranch. With the droverÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s help they embark on a quest to drive the cattle across the beautiful Australian landscape and into town, breaking the CarneysÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Monopoly. Much more happens from there but that gives you an idea of the story. The story actually works well in this movie but I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think the dialogue is very well done, things arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t discussed that should be discussed and as a result the events that unfold arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t quite as emotional as they should be. There are many enjoyable scenes and Jackman and Kidman are good in spots but the boy who plays Nullah steals the show. The movie is a bit overlong and though it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t drag, by the end I did feel a bit flat even though I enjoyed the movie. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d like to have seen this movie if it had taken itself much more seriously and hadnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t been so afraid to spend some of the 2 hours and 45 minutes on a little dialogue between the stars. My rating would have to be 3 stars.
Oh Brother, Where art the Writers for this Monstrosity?
Sunday night is the perfect movie night to finish off the week. Needing to relax after a hectic weekend and wanting a bit of entertainment; going to a movie could hit the spot.
When a friend suggested Australia with Hugh Jackman, I made the presumption it couldn't be that bad. Not having seen any adds for it, I took it to being a big budget crappy Hollywood style movie that can barely hold its head above water but is entertaining enough to shut my brain off for a couple hours.
BANG!! Right from the start this movie grabs you like an arthritic geriatric. Beginning with a big brawl in a rundown, wild west looking town, Hugh Jackman jumps into the overblown tough Ozzie character reminiscent of Crocodile Dundee yet with half the acting. Maybe someone should tell Hugh that the 80's are over and this has been poorly done before.
From here, this movie never grabs an identity. Not sure whether I am watching an epic, a serious love story, romantic comedy, or 'almost' children's movie except for all the gore. A lot of it didn't even make sense, like putting people in situations that have no business being there except for an excuse to kill them off. I don't think they gave the chimp, who wrote this, enough bananas.
Hugh's massively muscled, heaving, ripped body really shows that he has a tiny head. He's also extremely dirty and sweating like a hog the whole way through. Reminding me of Matthew McConaughey in, well, every movie I've ever seen him in. Nicole and Hugh try a kissing scene, but should have listened to Yoda, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Do or Do Not! There is no Try.Ã¢â‚¬Â I would liken this to a couple trying to to kiss passionately while mouths still frozen from recent visits to the dentist. Sexy? Not so much!
Because this leans heavily on the corny side, one would be led to believe this is more for kids. WRONG!! There's a healthy amount of gore as well. One man gets run over by a herd of bulls and survives long enough for a clichÃƒÂ© death. But his appearance after being trampled was so ridiculously gory, that it was comical and a chorus of giggles could be heard rippling through the theater.
After watching the movie end, the plot completely finished, no twists or turns left to figure out, the actual perfect spot to end; another hour of torture gets thrown in. Wrapping up a huge comedy of errors into three hours of my life that I will never get back. Most likely this movie was made to last the whole duration of a flight to Australia. Once bombs started falling on Darwin, the whole theater was praying for all the characters to die off.
I truly wonder what the writer was thinking about, having an old man dancing on a water tower for the last 30 minutes of the show. A first for me was when a friend leaned over and asked, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Do you have a gun?Ã¢â‚¬Â This would leave me to say please don't go see this movie unless your a masochist.
Australia is an interesting epic action-adventure film that was shot in the beautifully scenic outback. Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman lead the cast and Director Baz Luhrmann heads up the project that tells a story about the stolen generations. An aboriginal boy names Nullah (Brandon Walters) is at the center of the story about the injustices and prejudice that was a part of the new Australia after it was settled.
The movie is a bit awkward at first with some unique elements of humor but soon becomes an interesting and visual stimulating dramatic saga.
Nicole Kidman's snobby character becomes an unlikely cattle driver in Australia after the death of her husband. Hugh Jackman plays the rugged head cattle driver who she doesn't like but finds herself stuck with. While there's villains that want to stop them from loading the cattle on a ship. While Kidman finds herself with the responsibility of taking care of a special child.
Australia is basically 2 movies in one. The first half is a goofy but charming adventure picture. The second half is a total melodrama epic picture. But....both parts are entertaining. The second half is emotionally charged and will get to you. That is if you don't shut off the movie thinking it's over. It has as many endings as Return of the King lol.
Nicole Kidman's performance isn't her best in the first half. However, her performance gets better as the movie goes on. But Hugh Jackman and the child are excellent through-out. I always thought Jackman had a young Clint Eastwood look to him. So he's perfect for a Western. His performance is under-rated actually. He's one of the best actors at being a big macho brute one second and show some heart and emotion the next.
The two critics on At the Movies said there's too many close-ups of Hugh Jackman to remind us that he's the sexiest man alive. The only scene I thought of like that, is when he's shirtless dumping water over himself in slow motion lol. Other than that, no it's not just a 2 1/2 hour movie that just shows off his looks. He doesn't just pose for the camera, he acts too and he does a pretty good job.
At The Movies
Australia (PG) * * * *
By ROBERT WALDMAN
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Greed is good.Ã¢â‚¬Â Those famous words came from the lips of top Wall Street trader Gordon Gekko, immortalized forever by Michael Douglas. Men and women of a certain ilk continue to try to take control of many things/people/places. One such character plays a pivotal role in Australia, a sprawling epic in every sense of the word from consummate director/writer Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge). Take in this spectacle from 20th Century Fox now turning heads at Tinseltown (on Pender, free parking), Ridge Theatre, Empire Studio 12, Colossus and Famous Players Silver City sites around B.C.
Few filmmakers know how to make epic movies but Luhrmann proves to be the rule to the exception. Set in 1939 Australia is really a love story in the purest sense. We have a displaced noble woman named Sarah Ashley go to this unchartered territory to investigate the state of affairs at her familyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s palatial homestead. Out in the wilderness Lady Ashley sticks out like a sore thumb. When her husband leaves rather prematurely Ms. Ashley must decide whether to stay or go. Complications aplenty arise since this city woman used to the lap of luxury has really no help except some aboriginal hands. Left with a vast array of cattle to contend with in no short order our British transplant learns that a ruthless Australian businessman named King Carney has designs of his own for that prized piece of property.
Unsure of her next move Sarah encounters the mysterious and rather mischievous Driver, a hardened farm hand more used to dealing with animals than finely coiffed women. These two seem an unlikely pair but through hard work and a desire to stay alive the pair embarks on a wondrous journey full of peril and danger.
Standout acting and great chemistry between leads Nicole Kidman (The Hours) and Hugh Jackman (X-Men) turn Australia into a momentous journey. Breathtaking scenery of the Australian outback will ensure a boost in tourism to that gorgeous country as we watch the spectacle before us unfold. Tension abounds in this 2 Ã‚Â½ hour movie that flies off the screen. Villains help bring these two misfits closer with Bryan Brown (F/X) epitomizing the big boss mentality on the frontier as King Carney, a titan of commerce used to getting his own way. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll see.
Strong female characters donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t happen often in movies nowadays but Nicole KidmanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s version of this dynamic woman willing to stand up to the establishment in Australia in the late 30s will undoubtedly go over well with audiences who believe we are all created equal. Also, the use of native Aboriginals in pivotal parts here further adds to the authenticity of the whole story. Many touching performances abound in this epic which also has a nice almost magical flow to it. Watch out for youthful Brandon Walters who makes a stunning debut as Nullah, an Aboriginal boy caught in the midst of a very powerful struggle and David Wenham (Van Helsing) who sizzles as Neil Fletcher, a local with ambitions that know no bounds.
Sure to be a big hit among audiences with likely nods for various Oscar mentions this spring Australia opens up a whole new territory for filmgoers whose central characters will have you rooting all the way for the underdog.
Read more reviews by Robert at www.moviereviewssite.com